Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “NECRWA”

The Romantic Side of Weekend Conferences

Today’s Brew: I might have napped. And I might have had ice cream when I woke up. Don’t judge me.

by Kristen

I have more news. I love having news.

  1. I’m on See Brian Write’s podcast this week. We may talk about hairbands. A lot. And not just scraping the surface and talking about Def Leppard (fun fact about me: I don’t really like Def Leppard.). We get down to the nitty gritty and talk about Winger and WASP.  We also talk about how it all relates to my books.
  2. WE OWN THE NIGHT has a release date!  September 1, 2014. All platforms should be available that day: ebook, paperback, and audio book.

Julie wasn’t the only one at a conference this weekend.  I stayed a little closer to home for the New England Chapter Romance Writers of America Conference.  Intern Sara came with me, because the whole shebang ended with a major life event  for me and I needed someone there to rub my back while I put my head between my knees to remember to breathe. Sara is truly an amazing assistant, and a great travel companion as well. If you can get one like her, do it. But you can’t have Sara. She’s ours.

I know we have a great writing community on Twitter, but I encourage each and every one of you to get active in the local chapter of whatever it is that you write. Romance writers aren’t the only ones with meetings. Mystery, crime, science fiction, fantasy, they all have organizations.  Not only does it get you outside of your own head in terms of writing every couple of weeks, but you get to meet a whole difference cross section of writers. In my local chapter of RWA, there are brand new writers who have just started their first manuscript all the way up to people who’ve been writing for Harlequin for almost as long as you’ve been alive. We have guest speakers, and talk about business.  We eat chocolate and celebrate each other’s successes as well.

This weekend was our grand celebration.  I got to hang out with such luminaries as Eric Ruben, Esq. (also known as Julie’s agent) and catch him in action in his native habitat, Starbucks.

We had a ton of great panels, including an editing and polishing workshop with Angela James from Carina Press. I enjoyed the panel about hook by Teri Brisbin (and you thought I was already an expert at hooking), as well how to use interviews to really get to know your character before and after by Audra North.

Two mega successful authors talked about their journey from traditional publishing to self publishing. Sandra Marton published somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 books (I don’t remember the exact number) with Harlequin Presents. Obviously, she was doing well since they asked her for more 79 times.  In 2012, she decided she didn’t want to sign another contract with HP. So she struck out on her own. Like all of us, she learned as she went, and made mistakes just like the rest of us. Mistakes are something to learn from, and she’s landed on her feet. It was nice to hear from someone who was successful who didn’t just wake up and find that she was on the NYT best seller list.  Not everything worked, and sometimes she had to go back and figure out how to make it work.

Bella Andre gave our keynote speech. Bella’s sold over three million books, but she wasn’t an instant success. Bella had a traditional publishing contract in the 2000s, which the publisher declined to renew because they weren’t able to break her out. Instead smashing her keyboard in the middle of the desert, Office Space style, she turned to self publishing. And exploded.  You might say Bella’s been lucky, but she works damn hard at being lucky. I was shocked at the lion’s share of side work she still does herself, like design her own covers.

The speech that spoke to me the most was Cara McKenna’s lunchtime talk. She’s put out 35 books with a variety of publishers.  She’s quick to point out that she might not hit the big lists, but she’s able to support herself as a working writer. Cara spoke about the things in the business that aren’t necessarily writing, but are fucking hard. Dealing with reviews, occasionally making an ass out of yourself on the internet (or as she calls it, “boning shit up”), and how emotionally draining publication can be. I feel like I’ve seen more and more writers talking about this very real part of professional writing, and I applaud Cara for being brave enough to not pretend everything is champagne and roses. I had to give her a hug after her speech as a thank you.

The conference ended with a book fair and author signing. My first signing. I was fucking terrified. It actually wound up being a great experience. I had an amazing tablemate in Samantha Wayland, who writes erotic romance about hockey players. I didn’t need to breathe into a paper bag, and I got to talk to a lot of great people. And some of my books actually went home with people who aren’t me.

Someone told me I looked like a romance author this weekend.

Someone told me I looked like a romance author this weekend.

Next week, I’m off to New Orleans for the RT convention!



Hear And See Kristen This Week!

Today’s Brew: Blueberry. All is back to being right with the world.

by Kristen

Once I start working on a book, I’m always dying to talk about it. I spend so much time with the characters they are real to me, and like I’d want to share the juicy exploits of my real life friends, I want to do the same for my fictional ones.

Most of the time that involves talking Julie’s ear off while she tries to get something done in the relative peace (ha) and quiet (snort) of my home.  Now we can add Intern Sara into that mix.  This week, I get to share with the world. And it’s awesome.

  •  On Wednesday, I chatted with Brian LeTendre about vampire books and hair bands for the May 7 podcast of See Brian Write.  We had so much to talk about, he invited me back just so we could talk music.  Tonight, I’ll be talking to Ariel Burnz from  Ilovevampirenovels.comUpdate: you’ll be able to hear it May 26! Tune in for a giveaway! 
  • SATURDAY!!  I’m signing books!!  Please come say hi! If you have a copy of BECAUSE THE NIGHT or NIGHT MOVES, I’d be happy to sign them. If you want one, I’ll have to available for purchase. I’ll be at the NECRWA Book Fair at the Burlington Marriott in Burlington, MA from 4-5:30 PM.  It’s free to the public. Bella Andre, Meg Maguire,  Madeline Hunter, and over 20 other romance writers will also be signing.  I’d love to see your beautiful faces if you’re in the area!
  • BECAUSE THE NIGHT will be available on Audible on May 13!  I’m so excited about this.  It’s going to be surreal for Callie to have a voice that’s not in my head. Jessica Almasy will be narrating. She’s read the audio versions of many of Gena Showalter’s books, so I know she’s done an excellent job.

COVER REVEAL: How To Reprimand Your Rock Star By Mina Vaughn

Today’s Brew:  I’m out of blueberry, so Gingerbread

by Kristen

A year ago this weekend, someone raised their hand in a NECRWA conference panel to tell us about her upcoming book. It was about a female domme who “spanked the hell” out of her submissive vampire.  Immediately, I knew I had to make friends with this author.  Mission accomplished. That author is Mina Vaughn, and the book How to Discipline Your Vampire.

Mina and her Domme-Nation series are back and the only way she could get closer to my heart was if she wrote about rock stars.

Without further ado, I give you the cover for HOW TO REPRIMAND YOUR ROCK STAR.


Release date is July 21, 2014.  You can, and of course should, add it to your Goodreads TBR right this very minute.

Do you need more convincing?  Here’s the blurb:

In this fun and saucy romance novel, all-star college basketball player Thea dominates on the courts—and off—with a rock star who is determined to win her over.

Thea is a star basketball player at UConn on track to be Rookie of the Year. That is, if she can stay focused on the game. Lately that hasn’t been going so well, as her knee has been bothering her. But that’s not the only thing on her mind…

Ever since rock star Keaton Lowe surprised her in the girl’s locker room, Thea can’t stop thinking about him. On top of his status and enticing ways, he seems to know everything about her. But some of his actions cross the line, and Keaton needs to be punished. Will Thea keep her head in the game, or get distracted by her other favorite pastime—reprimanding her rock star?

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